Time out in RI

 


I visited the state of Rhode Island for the first time two weeks ago. It was a great time and I was able to hit up a beach. The weather was not too hot and not too windy. It was just right. This weekend, I have been able to visit and see a few friends. As the fall rests just around the corner, I have a lot to appreciate and hope towards. In one aspect, I am looking forward to a half marathon in approximately one month from now. I have been training and currently run about 16 miles a week. I plan to push myself up to 20 miles this week and stay there until race day. The last thing I want to happen now is sprain or overwork something.

In order to run that distance, I have been cooking more good food. I heard that it's best to shop the 'edge of the supermarket', where all the produce, protein, bread, basics, and dairy sits. As opposed to the processed boxes of whatever. I think that is a good strategy going forward.


A Red Sox Crowd?

 


I went to the Red Sox game last Friday where the home team beat the Texas Rangers 6-0, although it went 10-1 Rangers the next night. My friend Conrad got the ball rolling on this expedition out into Fenway Park. Five of us friends went to the bleachers and talked about life while the innings passed by us. The stadium was packed. Beers and hotdogs were being consumed all about us. I only saw a few people wearing face masks. It seems most people did not even acknowledge my own mask, except when a concessions staffer said we should be smiling since the Sox were ahead "I can still tell you're smiling". It was a good night and I'm glad I went. It was a bit awkward in some ways. I've been reading about overwhelmed hospitals in parts of the country where ICU beds are filled up completely and mostly unvaccinated people gasp for their last breaths before collapsing into asphyxiation. It's a slightly different story in Massachusetts where vaccination rates are higher although covid cases have risen with the onslaught of the Delta variant of COVID-19. 


On Thursday, I left the gym and saw a large hawk sitting on a branch just outside the building. The gym attendant started telling a story about how a hawk once pecked through someone's skull, which I found concerning enough to exit through the other side of the building.



On Saturday morning, I stopped by MIT for a COVID test. It appears the whole area around Kresge is getting renovated. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, construction seems to continue booming. I would guess that managers and administrators of MIT as well as any college probably see this time as a golden opportunity to quickly handle a lot of infrastructure changes without placing a serious burden on the students and staff.


An absolutely wonderful vacation

 


It is somewhat funny that I feel somewhat melancholy at the end of this long weekend (it's Tuesday?). I think I'm down because this excursion is coming to an end. I'm enamored with Ally's kind and caring family. It has been a wonderful vacation.

On Friday night, Ally went to see a friend in Boston while I talked about music with my pals Hector and Hadrian. 

Early Saturday morning Ally and I jumped out of bed at 4 something AM and found that our scheduled Lyft ride was cancelled and our flight was delayed 30 minutes. On this discovery, we trekked to the Davis Square Station to ride towards South Station. We ambled through the bag check and security in good time and found ourselves sipping a Starbucks latte before hopping on the plane. I watched 1917 and she watched Judas and the Black Messiah. Both so emotional movies we landed in a daze.  I shook hands and hugged Ally's parents. Within minutes of grabbing our bags, we jumping in an SUV hurtling into the Atlanta traffic. A quick stop at her sister Calee's apartment, I was introduced to Calee's partner Noel and we then sped off to IHOP. After exceptional service, I napped on a hot balcony of the apartment before we zipped off to the Blue Ridge mountains. Tucked in a river bend, we found a large cabin that Ally's parents had rented for us. Fishing poles and a hot tub. Rope swing, basketball It was fully loaded. As well as the SUV was loaded with snacks, drinks, meals, and games. Taco night.

On Sunday, I nestled into a good book and finished it up quickly over the next 24 hrs. Between reading sessions, I jumped in the water, swam, talking, joked, told stories, and explained how Ally and I met. Ally and I made our popular Mediterranean bowls for dinner. 

On Monday, we went tubing on the Cartecay river. Took naps in the warm air. Laid in a hammock. Played even more games of pool and billiards. Good soup and salad for dinner.

On Tuesday, we went to a zipline park far off the beaten path. Chic-fil-a. Went into Atlanta to see Louis the child, super fun and loud show. Got back home at 2am.

Today, work and packing rapidly!

Tomorrow, business as usual





Still Making Things

 


It has been a good summer thus far, that we are halfway through. I have gotten a better handle on my WMBR show I've been running on my own. I got used to having guests and a cohost. Now I have to come up with the vamping material myself. Speaking of cohost, I went out on Saturday night with Noah (old WMBR cohost for Exit Tangent) and we saw Shakespeare's The Tempest with his partner Ming and mutual friend Conrad. We had a swell, odd time meandering through Cambridge and Boston. We talked about food and coincidentally both made a recipe from the same book this week. We both have read Nosrat's "Salt Fat Acid Heat". I made the Midnight Chocolate Cake while Noah made an Arugala and Radish salad for himself and Ming. I feel pretty good when I am able to pull off a new recipe. It is a sure sign that I've learned something and it's always easier the second time around.

A few weeks ago Ally and I visited the Harvard Arboretum. It was fun to see a wide variety of trees I have never seen in my life. At one point we walked under a tree where an eagle was feasting on a rabbit. I would not have known if not for another patron of the park telling me to watch out above.

Here's to another few weeks of summer and hopefully less covid cases. One can hope.



Making Things Again

 




One of my favorite dishes from Salt Fat Acid Heat, the ragu

A pot of ragu, a voltage regulator, and a cleaner garbage disposal (still very rusty). I'm trying to hook into the concept of 'active accountability' as I have read another blogger write. There are all these things I want to do but without the same time pressure as before. Back when I was living with family or as a student, nearly every task had a deadline. As a result, I believe I began to associate tasks worth completing as tasks with deadlines. I have found out this past year that is not how the world really works. There is no strict deadline to clean the bathroom floor, vacuum up some dust, or call an old friend. Nobody is going to tell someone out on their own when they have to go exercise or else... So I/you have to take things into our own hands when others do not provide that pressure. Some reports from Pew Research note that between 10 and 20% of EU and USA citizens are NEET (not in employment, education, or training). This is something I find worth reflection. I cannot say anything about the individuals who find themselves in this position, however I worry that not all of them are thrilled about it. Some aspect of this active accountability or holding oneself to deadlines could help? Some scholars at Berkeley note that happiness and meaning (whether derived from work or leisure) are connected. There are a lot of generalizations in that piece but I found it interesting.


Starting a build on a summing op amp

Messy filter with impinged fluorescent particles, used to be a couple micron, now about 1 mm


Ridiculous, my apartment had so many issues when we moved in... working on it

A Night Out at Felipe's

 


Friday was my 23rd birthday. I got up and pulled clothes from a suitcase on the floor, ate a banana, made coffee, and went off to Haverhill. The day went by alright, although I wish there was more time in a day. With each passing year, the old saying of 'not enough hours in a day' gets all the more real. After work, I went home and made some calls. Ally and I went to Mike's in Davis square and then we took the T into Boston. The bars by the north end were packed. We kept our distance. It was a ridiculous sight. The sea of drunk strangers walking in silly strides across town was an indication to me that the pandemic is approaching some sort of end. We walked to Winthrop lane to see some brass bricks, but we found that the artistically crafted bricks had been removed due to nearby construction. Next, we walked to the skinniest house in Boston, it's about 12 feet wide and three stories tall packed between brownstone walkups. It was a funny sight. Usually we only go to this part of town for Bova's bakery. We see a little bit more of this town each time we go out.

The next day, we unpacked and cleaned more. The apartment is sort of a mess. I guess the landlord vacuumed and repainted? It's hard to tell. There are paint marks on all sorts of stuff there should not be paint marks. It seems everyone in this town is going at life as fast as they can, one has to worry about the attention to detail... Ally and I replaced some wall plates and made a grocery trip. Afterwards, we met up with some friends in Harvard square to get food and drinks at Felipe's Taqueria. It was Conrad's birthday and we had a swell time. We walked back to a friend of Conrad's place in Central square to play games and then head home. A weird thing happened to us as we walked back to the T. A drunk couple started talking to us about a steakhouse. They seemed quite far gone and very adamant about the quality of this particular steakhouse. I had a hard time keeping a straight face as they went on and on in slurred speech. I hope they got home alright.

This encounter reminded me of an article in the Atlantic

One of many half-fixes in the new apartment... an incorrectly used bolt in place of where a wood screw should be.

Moving onto the next place


Ally and I have a list of things to purchase. We are moving on to our own place and need to get our own pots, pans, and plates. The apartment is nice and close to Davis square. Our one year lease will see us here another year at the very least as two young professionals together in the area. I am ready for a year where COVID dies out in this corner of America, god willing. Bars and restaurants, hikes and art museums. There is pent up demand for entertainment everywhere and in every one I talk to at work.




I've had the moments to cook new meals and try out different recipes. Two weekends ago, I made shakshuka and yesterday I made Dal Palak. 


Ally and I made this plant shelf. The black trestle is from IKEA, the other parts we purchased from Home Depot and constructed ourselves.


I need to sell some of this furniture I no longer need.
 

Time out in RI

  I visited the state of Rhode Island for the first time two weeks ago. It was a great time and I was able to hit up a beach. The weather wa...